A Meditation On Forgiveness
A meditation on forgiveness from Will Williams.
A few years ago, I remember teaching a billionairess who emphasised over and over again the importance of forgiveness.
Whilst I obviously acknowledged its significance, I must admit I struggled to relate to her prioritisation of it over all other considerations. However, as time has gone on, I feel I’ve begun to understand just why she had seen the light on this.
You see, so much of what holds us back is the web of entangled emotions we have about people and events in our lives. We feel hard done by, misunderstood, betrayed, hurt, let down, unnecessarily treated, bitter, resentful and so many other things, by so many actors, and our tendency is to bury and disassociate from it, or try and change the storyline so that it’s less hurtful.
Or perhaps, we may even project hatred and resentment back in the direction of the people we feel have hurt or attacked us. But that ends up hurting us far more than the person we are directing it at.
And the limiting effect of it goes way beyond simply locking us into a state of dissatisfaction. It is a bitter poison that will prevent us from ever reaching our full potential. It will render us locked out of the possibilities of each and every moment, and it will cause us to walk a path that leads to nowhere.
We will cycle around in the same old patterns, until one day, when we’ve had enough, we will finally breakthrough. But why not start by now? As Nelson Mandela pondered as he was leaving prison after 27 year of unjust internment:
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
So how can we move beyond such hates? How can we elevate ourselves to the point where we no longer feel affected by the so called injustices of others?
Well doing a twice a day meditation practise makes a helluva difference, because it will help loosen the emotional charge associated with life’s events. As well as doing the inner work that creates the space for real and genuine transformational change to occur, we need to go further. We need to be willing to shift our attitude and our paradigm to embrace forgiveness for all hurts.
We are wise to seize the day every single time we find ourselves in a place of higher perspective and just send the people we have emotional entanglements with a little pulse of recognition and understanding that yes, what went down wasn’t ideal, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s all ok, because we are still here, and if we allow ourselves, we can grow through everything, and become a stronger, wiser person.
But we only become truly strong, when we let go of the weakness that insists on being a victim to life’s misfortunes. Is it easy? No, it most certainly isn’t. But is it necessary for the most powerful growth to occur? Yes, it is. So much so, that without it, we are incarcerated. Possibly with a life sentence hanging over our heads, when the road to freedom lies within our grasp.
So when you wake up feeling all chill in your alpha state, or you get to the end of your meditation, see if you can offer all those people who you’ve felt hurt by some real and genuine forgiveness. Understand that they too are hurting, and that may be driving their behaviour, because if they were free of all pain and hurt, they would offer nothing but love, wisdom, and playfulness to those they encounter.
If you’re doing this, please also remember, it is essential we forgive ourselves. For any and all ‘mistakes’ we have made. We are all human. We all make mistakes. We all err, and we all self destruct at times. It’s part of the learning process of life. So if you can focus on the lessons, and not the errors, then you open up the space to forgive yourself and forget the past. And when you do that, forgiving others becomes way easier.
Words by Will Williams